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Old 07-05-2011, 11:32 PM   #1
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Air Conditioner Limping Along


It is currently 9:15 PM and my house is still 84 degrees and my wife is giving me the stink eye as she has an ice pack on her head to cool down.

It has been quite hot here lately and my AC just isn't getting my house cooler than the mid-80's. I've done everything I can: filters are clean, duct connections are secure, vents are open, condensor coils are clean (I have pics before I cleaned it and it already looked fairly clean), and outside unit is clean and clear of any debris.

My AC unit is Rheem and I have no idea how old it is but it looks like it could easily be 20 years old and I wouldn't be surprised if it is 30 years old. We bought this home three years ago and have no knowledge of what if any work has been done to the unit prior to us owning it. My house is only 1380 square feet and it has plenty of insulation in the attic.

So, is it time to throw in the towel and call a pro? I hate the sound of that

Here is the model number on cooling coils and a few pictures of the coils. It is too dark to take a picture of the outside unit.






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Old 07-05-2011, 11:39 PM   #2
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Air Conditioner Limping Along


yes, need to check charge. Does the coil is clean inside?

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Old 07-05-2011, 11:50 PM   #3
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Air Conditioner Limping Along


I didn't pull the coils all the way out, so I can't tell if they are clean underneath.

I also checked my temperature at the vents and it is a chilly 48 degrees (I used a digital meat thermometer). You'd think with air that cold, the house would be an ice box.
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Old 07-06-2011, 06:21 AM   #4
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Air Conditioner Limping Along


Time to call the pro to get the stink eye off you.
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Old 07-06-2011, 06:58 AM   #5
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Air Conditioner Limping Along


is the supply air out of the vents strong as always? if not check the round fins on the squirrel cage within the furnace..coil looks clean ,are you getting condensate out of the furnace drain line...check the main return air grill up in the hallway should hold a sheet of paper without sliding down... how cold is that suction insulated line coming off that coil should be like a glass of water with ice in it
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:19 AM   #6
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is the supply air out of the vents strong as always? if not check the round fins on the squirrel cage within the furnace..coil looks clean ,are you getting condensate out of the furnace drain line...check the main return air grill up in the hallway should hold a sheet of paper without sliding down... how cold is that suction insulated line coming off that coil should be like a glass of water with ice in it
I will have to check most of these questions when I get home this evening. However, the "squirrel cage" (which made me laugh because that's exactly what it looks like!) is clean except for a little bit of dust, but there is nothing caked on it.

There is quite a bit of water draining from my unit but it doesn't come out of the drain line because the pan is rusted through. That isn't an issue though because the unit is right next to my sump pump in my basement.

It does seem like the entire system is moving less air than it used to. I can try the paper test tonight. If it matters, my air return and my supply vents are all in the floor. I have two return vents, both take a 14x14x1 filter.

My house was originally built in the 1940's and the AC system was added after the home was built. Is it possible that the retrofit AC installation has limitations based on vent and return locations, air flow, old windows allowing too much heat in, etc.? Also, the house has been added onto (square footage-wise) twice since the 70's. Can my system be too small?

Here is the model number on the outside unit. Can anyone tell when it was installed from the numbers on the side? Serial number is the top line and model number is the second line.

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Old 07-06-2011, 09:58 AM   #7
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Air Conditioner Limping Along


48 degree cold air comes in, that is even better than a new system. All you need to find out is if the cold air is strong enough. check all the ducts, inline filters and also make sure the blower fan is still good.
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:09 AM   #8
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48 degree cold air comes in, that is even better than a new system. All you need to find out is if the cold air is strong enough. check all the ducts, inline filters and also make sure the blower fan is still good.
That makes sense! I already looked at the blower to see if it was dirty (it is clean) and I also spun the wheel by hand and it moves freely. However, I didn't check the belt or anything else.

Should I start with the belt to make sure that it is in good shape? What else can I look at on the blower?
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:58 AM   #9
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A simple check. the cold air should be strong enough so that you can feel it by hand at least 8 feet away. one reason that you got a low 48 degree is because not enough air blow through the coil, or the air speed is too slow.

Last edited by clocert; 07-06-2011 at 11:01 AM.
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Old 07-06-2011, 11:02 AM   #10
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A simple check. the cold air should be strong enough so that you can feel it by hand at least 8 feet away.
I'm not even close to 8 feet! I'm not at home, so I can't do a true measurement. But I am willing to guess that I can probably only feel it from 3 maybe 4 feet away.
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Old 07-06-2011, 06:37 PM   #11
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Air Conditioner Limping Along


I got home today only to find the AC refrigerant line to the coils frozen solid

I turned off the AC and then just turned on the blower fan and it seems to be running fine. I just don't know if it is running correct...

AAAAHHHH!!!
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Old 07-06-2011, 06:47 PM   #12
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Air Conditioner Limping Along


If the suction line was frozen your system is under charge. Don't let A/C running or the EVAP coil will be a solid ice block.
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:06 PM   #13
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If the suction line was frozen your system is under charge. Don't let A/C running or the EVAP coil will be a solid ice block.
I'm not sure which one is the suction line but it was the one that is insulated...
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:13 PM   #14
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I'm not sure which one is the suction line but it was the one that is insulated...
Yes
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:10 PM   #15
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Yes
I'm calling the AC repair guy tomorrow. Luckily the Delta Breeze is kicking in tonight and it won't be as hot as it was last week.

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